Then & Now: Computing Tabulating Recording Company (aka IBM)
It might feel like things are always changing in Washington DC. There are always new buildings being built, businesses closing and with every few years. But you might not realize how much Washington DC has changed until you look back at what it looked like in the past. In this “Then & Now” feature, I have combined one of Lewis Reed’s original photograph’s for “then” and matched it with a google street view image for “now”. Taken approximately 108 years apart, these photos show Hollerith’s Plant then and now.
THEN: Before becoming interested in automobiles, Lewis Reed was one of the original employees of the Computing Tabulating Recording Company, a Georgetown-based manufacturing firm that eventually became International Business Machines, Inc. The Tabulating Machine Company was formed by Hermann Hollerith in 1896 and merged to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in 1911. Seen in the photo below, the two-story building housed Hollerith’s card manufacturing plant, assembly plant, repair shop and development laboratory. Hollerith later incorporated his business as the Tabulating Machine Company. It was consolidated into the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. in 1911, and was renamed International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924.
NOW: Today the U.S. technology sector is inextricably linked with the West Coast, but the history of data processing actually traces back to an unassuming brick factory in Washington, D.C. This was the Georgetown headquarters of the Tabulating Machine Company, an early analog computer manufacturer that you may know by the contemporary moniker IBM. IBM placed a historical plaque on the corner of the building by 31st Street and the Canal. Hollerith is also buried nearby in the Oak Hill Cemetery.
The following photographs are interior images.
Source: IBM Archives